Thursday, January 27, 2011

Box of goodies and practice waves

 We got our birthing kit yesterday in the mail and of course I opened it and looked at everything inside. I have to say it is so interesting to me. Me who is the PBS addict and loves watching Nova, Nature, and all those educational shows. I love love love learning about things and I absolutely love the fact that I am so involved in my birth!  I get to see everything, look at it and go "Oh Ok, that's what that looks like." Like the umbilical cord clamp, I've never seen what one looks like and I now got to look at one (inside the package of course). This kit was designed and put together by my midwives. It has what they prefer to have at the birth in it. I didn't know that they could do that, but that's great that any midwife can put together a kit and you can go online and buy it. They threw a few free samples in like Emergen-C, Lansioh nipple ointment, and a little thing of Baby Magic baby lotion. Some of it was pretty funny to see again, like the sexy mesh undies and the spray bottle. I'm a little muddled as to why they would send straws, but hey. Somethings took me a moment to figure out, like the support socks. Then there are things like lubricating jelly, arnica tablets, and some soothing herbal drops.  The things in the box are bed pads, gloves, and gauze pads.

The past three nights I've been starting to experience practice waves (Braxton Hicks Contractions).  They haven't been steady, they don't last long and the interval is long in between them. It's kind of cool in a way because when I've been getting them, it's been night time and I'm able to feel them without any interuption. Which has been nice. I'm able to tell the difference in the muscles that are working. They usually start at the top by my ribs and slowly wave down. It's not uncomfortable, mostly it's just a little bit a pressure. But I can tell how they are working, now knowing which ones do what. Rather than it's just being strange cramping, I can tell that the top ones are gently pushing down and the bottom ones are stretching. It's sounds strange to put it in writing, but it's cool.

And lastly, I just finished reading a short book called "Back Labor No More!". It's a very quick read, but it really is just a book explaining what can cause back labor, who is most likely to get back labor, and a very simple technique that many women have tried, including the author.  According to the book, I have what is called a 'Short Rise', meaning that I don't have much room between my ribs and my hips. Which leaves the baby less room to be able to tumble and turn the way it needs to in order to exit. Most women who have a 'Short Rise' also tend to have a baby that is Posterior rather than Anterior. I've always known the difference was what way the baby was facing, but this book really explained why this is such a big problem. It has to do with the way our spines curl. Back bends are not easy or comfortable, so a baby that is Posterior causes a longer labor because your muscles have to work hard to help the baby out. Where as an Anterior baby can just curl it's back and adjust itself easier. To help the baby out and speed up delivery, she suggests tummy lifting. (I can't remember what she really calls it, but you are lifting your tummy so...) In order for this to work though, you cannot be on any pain medications as you need to feel your contractions. What you do is this: Start with your hands on your hips, when you feel a wave (contraction), you follow it with your hands under you belly, you then clasp your hands together and lift (using only your forearms, keep you upper arms straight) as high as you can and hold it throughout the wave. You can continue to hold it after the wave is gone. The one thing she really urges though, is that you do this in the place you are giving birth. Not in the Car, Not in the Bathroom, etc.
One of the women thought it would be ok to do it in the car while they were in route to the hospital and ended up being admitted with a newborn.  The reason for that warning, is that this places the baby's head on your cervix and the pressure will complete dilation and you will suddenly feel the need to push. So if you buy the book or try this technique, only do it when you are where you are giving birth.

Some of the women who tried the technique suggested, said that it didn't help the back labor much, but they had much quicker births. To me that is the payoff. I don't mind if the pain doesn't go away as long as the process is much much shorter. (I really don't want another 12hr birthing session.)

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